Here are ten simple rules to writing an effective resume. Violation of these rules can cause pain, heartache, cramps, irregularity and even worse…
You won’t get interviewed for the job you want!
1. Style & Font are least important: If I help someone “tweak” their resume and the style is OK, I try not to change it. (Style meaning what kind of bullet points they use or whether they block things off with lines, etc.)
2. Length is even less important: Too many people worry whether their resume is 1 page, or 2 pages etc. A resume is as long as it needs to be to get the point across.
3. Simple is best: If something is confusing or redundant, change it.
4. Be consistent: Having dates as 3/09 in one place and March 2009 in another or using seven different fonts is not what you want.
5. This is not an art project: The color purple should never appear on a resume unless you are Barney the Dinosaur and even that is questionable. Please, no pictures unless you are looking for a job in the Philippines; for some reason, every resume I have ever seen from there has the candidate’s picture on it.
6. Your resume is a marketing tool: It is meant to represent you at your best. It should be accurate but does not have to include every detail of your life…especially if it makes you look weird or stupid.
7. It should read like a book: Title at the top, (name, address, email, phone, etc.), syllabus underneath (accomplishments or skills), chapters below (Job history, education etc.). Chapters are read in chronological order and make sense.
8. The Summary and Accomplishments are critical to getting someone to read your resume: They need to be strong and engaging. If you can get a WOW! out of someone’s mouth when they read your accomplishments, you have done your job. The Summary and Accomplishments should change depending on the job you are applying for.
9. Spell check and have others proofread your resume to make sure it makes sense: Having several typo’s on your resume makes you look like a dork.
10. Rules are just guidelines: If, by not following some of these rules, or for that matter, anyone else’s rules for writing a resume, makes it better, then don’t follow them. Heck, after all, it is your resume.